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Aesop's fables performed by the South African Isango Ensemble

Aesop is said to have been a slave from Ancient Greece eventually killed for his fables. Some memorable examples are: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs and of course, The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. These stories, which have been passed from generation to generation, are being performed by the award winning South African troupe, Isango Ensemble.

Aesop’s Fables the performance tells the story of the slave Aesop who visits the oracle of Ancient Greece and is told that in order to find his freedom he must learn from the animals. Each lesson learned breaks a link from his chain. The audience follows Aesop as he meets the different animals.

Mark Dornford-May, founder and director of Isango Ensemble describes Aesop’s fables as a collection of “Extraordinary moral tales, but they’re done with such humor warmth and understanding of humanity… It’s about gaining freedom but understanding that that comes with responsibilities.”

According to their website:

Isango Ensemble is an internationally renowned South African theatre company that draws its artists from the townships around South Africa. Our stage productions and films have played to sold-out audiences across the world, and we’ve received numerous international awards. Isango’s productions re-imagine classics from the Western theatre canon, finding a new context for the stories within a South African or township setting thereby creating inventive work relevant to the heritage of the nation.  Our company’s structure embraces artists at all stages of their creative development allowing senior artists to lead and contribute towards the growth of rising talents.

The BBC’s Anna Borzello presented a podcast with a background of a beautiful marimbas playing in the background. We hear the ensemble singing in perfect unison reminiscent of the Soweto Gospel Choir.

The Ensemble has won the esteemed Olivier award as well as the Golden Bear and Golden Thumb awards for performances of European-known works with the South African twist. Even with their international acclaim, the troupe’s goal is to bridge the divide between South Africans.

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